Transitions: June 2014

Broker Buzz brings you all the major transitions in June after a very busy month.


AIA Australia

AIA Australia has appointed Damien Mu as its new CEO in Australia.

Mu joined AIA seven years ago and boasts more than 17 years experience in insurance.

Theresa Gattung, Non-Executive Chair of AIA Australia, says Mu has been rewarded for his dedication and hard work.

“I would like to congratulate Damien Mu on his appointment as CEO of AIA Australia. Damien has been instrumental in our growth, and this is a thoroughly well-deserved appointment,” she says.


Austbrokers Holdings Ltd (AUB)

Vanessa Lyons has been appointed as the new Head of Marketing for Austrbrokers.

Lyons joins Austbrokers from an international banking and payment business in Chicago where she spent three years in senior management roles.

Mark Searles, CEO and Managing Director of Austbrokers, says he is delighted to have someone of Lyons’ stature join the team.

“I am delighted to have someone with Vanessa’s marketing pedigree joining us in such a key role. She has demonstrated a deep appreciation and understanding of the Austbrokers’ owner-driver model, our strategy and strong growth agenda,” he says.

“Vanessa has an impressive track record, especially in the area of new business development support. We are pleased to have secured someone of Vanessa’s calibre as we continue to build our marketing and communications capability to support a number of streams of activity.”



LMI Group

LMI has two new appointments with Russ Nicholas joining as the new State Manager of Queensland and Fabio Trisera joining the IT department.

Nicholas is a qualified engineer and has more than 30 years experience in loss adjusting.

Trisera is in charge of rewriting the business continuity management planning system.



Meridian Lawyers, a strategic partner of Steadfast Group, has announced that CSL Lawyers will join the company.

This will allow Meridian to expand into the Brisbane market as a leading law firm in the insurance industry.

Dennis Cronin, Ed Zappert and Adam Butson will all join the team from CSL.

Managing Principal at Meridian Lawyers Paul Baker says the timing is perfect.

“We are thrilled to have Dennis and his team on board in Brisbane,” Baker says.

“Our clients will benefit from the experience and genuine understanding of the insurance industry that Dennis has gained during 30 years in legal practice.

“This will help us to build on our Australian market success and importantly, support our expansion into new legal markets.”


Wotton + Kearney 

Wotton + Kearney (W+K) are pleased to announce the promotion ofHeidi Nash-Smith of their Sydney office and Raisa Conchin of their Brisbane office to Partners.

Nash-Smith joined W+K as a senior associate in 2010 and focuses on professional indemnity and Directors and Officers claims.

Conchin worked in commercial litigation for five years before joining W+K’s Sydney office in 2010.



Giles Crowley has been appointed as Executive General Manager of Global Corporate Australia and New Zealand.

Crowley joined Zurich in the UK back in 1996 and has extensive experience in roles ranging from Underwriting to Program Management and Head of Deal Management.

CEO General Insurance Australia and New Zealand Daniel Fogarty says with more than 20 years experience in international insurance, Crowley has the credentials to handle his new role.

“Giles is an accomplished leader in the insurance industry with an impressive track record of creating, developing and managing business relationships. His comprehensive technical knowledge, people management skills and innovative problem solving capabilities will deliver the results our customers and brokers need from an insurer in today’s market,” he says.